About four years ago I started riding a bike. Gas had got up to about $3.50 per gallon, and I was (and still am) driving a Honda Pilot – a 15 mpg gas guzzler.
When I was a kid, I was riding my bike with a friend along a busy highway. We went up from the road onto the sidewalk, but my rear tire stayed on the road and I wiped out into the right hand lane of the highway. Fortunately there were no cars behind me and I just got scraped up. But it scared me, and I quit riding my bike on the road.
So I wasn’t an enthusiastic biker. My desire to save money outweighed my fear of the road.
I had a heavy duty basket put on the front of my bike, and two saddle bag baskets installed on the rear. The saddlebags are good for lighter weight, more voluminous stuff. The front basket can haul an amazing amount of weight, at least 50 and maybe even 100 pounds. The mitigating factor is my ability to hold it steady on the road.
At first I used the bike for short trips to the grocery. Gradually I became more confident and began to take longer trips. I just tried to keep the pedals moving. I began to enjoy it.
About the only time I take the car now is if I have a passenger, I’m pressed for time, or severe weather. Otherwise I’m biking – joyfully.
I have gradually realized many benefits from riding the bike. I don’t just ride the bike for exercise; I’m always trying to get somewhere, either run an errand, go to work, or visit someone.
That is, I’m accomplishing transportation I would otherwise need my car for, as well as getting exercise. And that’s nearly every day. I mean, how often do you go a day without getting into the car?